Category Archives: Dogs

When Your Vet is a Star 🌟

Dr. Jeff Young, ‘Star’ Vet

We all think our vets are ‘stars,’ right? Well, we should. When you are entrusting your beloved fur-kid, you definitely want them to be a star. I mean, who wants to drop a house payment on a vet you have no confidence in when your pet needs critical care? But in my case (house payment aside), my vet really is a star. A TV star that is, as in Dr. Jeff, Rocky Mountain Vet currently airing on the Animal Planet network. These days our vet stars are Dr. Amy (who treats Elsa for her seizures) and Dr. Baier (who tends to Sam’s health) who work at his clinic, Planned Pethood Plus. And I’m very happy with all of them. By the way, if you haven’t seen the show, I strongly recommend it so you can see how this pillar of the community has made a difference in the lives of so many people and their pets. Here’s a link to a recent episode. Dr. Jeff also shares my passion regarding puppy mills and is a firm believer that you shouldn’t have to declare bankruptcy in order to take care of your pet. We all know treatment for pets can be limited by an ability to pay for it so he does everything he can to make treatment affordable.

My association with Planned Pethood did not begin when discovered the show which now has around a million and a half viewers each week. Established back in 1990, the clinic was located not far from where I currently live although I had been going to his mobile low-cost vaccination clinics for over 20 years.  With a seasoned staff of some 30 professionals, some who have been with him since they were hired out of high school where he has also been a cross-country track coach for the school, he is one of the busiest vets in the country with 100,000 clients. Dr. Jeff is driven by two simple underlying missions “significantly reducing companion animal overpopulation throughout the world” and “thinking globally: acting locally.” His passion for curbing pet overpopulation is paramount to his practice, with all rescues treated being spayed or neutered. In fact he has probably performed over 160,000 spay and neuter procedures in the Denver area, as well as providing all manner of veterinary care with his mobile unit throughout the Rocky Mountain region and internationally through Planned Pethood International clinics located in Bratislava, Slovakia and Merida, Mexico. 

Having a vet who just happens to be a TV as well as our personal vet star isn’t always rainbows and unicorns though. Because of the sheer number of clients, there are times when it can be frustrating waiting for a return call and it can be challenging keeping one’s expectations for instantaneous care in check. Like most people, I’m impatient when it comes to the care of my fur-babies. Yet I know the work performed is always in the best interests of their clients when they need treatment (did I mention he has 100,000 clients?) and know they always provide quality, affordable care. In 2016 just prior to the season finale, Dr. Jeff made the shocking announcement revealing a diagnosis of B-cell Lymphoma and that the landmark clinic would be moving from the Highlands neighborhood to a new location a few miles west in the suburb of Wheat Ridge. He cut his signature shoulder-length hair in an episode that was hard on the staff and all who know and love Dr. Jeff. While you can never be certain of a long-term prognosis with cancer, he seems to be doing well and continues his work with the same passion as always. We certainly wish him all the best.

When I began drafting this post, I realized Dr. Jeff isn’t the only vet star I’d been fortunate to have taken care of my fur-kids. Back in the 90’s when I lived out east in the suburb of Aurora, my first dog had epilepsy, too. Our neighborhood vet did not have 24 hour care when Crosby’s Grand Mal seizures began and recommended he be transported over to Alameda East, a couple of miles away where he was successfully treated and where all my other pets were treated as well. Back then, the TV series ER was hugely popular and Animal Planet contacted Dr. Robert Taylor, the founder of Alameda East Veterinary Hospital about producing a reality show showing the treatment of animals and thus the show Emergency Vets began airing in 1998. The show ended in 2002 just before I moved to the west side of town once I realized Dr. Jeff’s mobile clinic had a permanent location close to the house.

Dr. Fitz with a couple of patients

While we were clients at Alameda East, our vet ‘star’ was Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, who was a reptile specialist and who coincidently happened to be a well-known local stand-up comedian in his spare time as well as a TV star.

Doesn’t it seems kind of ironic that both of my vets have been TV stars? Not that I’m complaining, mind you. But you have to admit it is interesting they both have silver hair and mustaches and are ‘stars’ in multiple ways.

Maybe there is something special about the thin air of the Mile High City that produces such terrific stars both on TV as well as for providing great care to my fur-kids.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Fab Friday ~ October 6, 2017

Last weekend was the quintessential Fall weekend. Perfect temperatures in the 70’s, low humidity, and crystal clear blue skies define autumn in Colorado. The kind of weekend that is not only most welcome following a few days of misty rain with chilly temps, but the kind that beg you to stroll through gardens and enjoy the outdoors. And this weekend was extra special, as there were a gazillion tourists out enjoying it and who weren’t congesting the highways. Often confused with Monarch butterflies, the Painted Lady butterflies have been so numerous this year as they move south toward their warmer winter habitats but first they will gorge on tasty local offerings. They even have been spotted on weather radar. See stories here and here.

Radar images showing a 70-mile-wide wave of butterflies drifting across the Denver metro area. Source: National Weather Service via AP

What’s not to love about this time of year? The temperatures are usually mild and there is a special glow of light that turns everything golden and gorgeous highlighted by exquisite blues/purples contrasting against typical autumn colors. Many of the summer flowers have for the most part, given up center stage to their autumnal cousins although the annual Zinnias are holding out till the first frost. Hardy Mum, Aster, Black-eyed Susan and my personal favorite, Plumbago are all demanding the spotlight.

As I walked through the garden, the Painted Ladies explode upward, as they flit around in annoyance that their nectar banquet was interrupted. Quietly kneeling and holding perfectly still, I patiently wait for them to return and resume the meal. I am soon rewarded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterflies in the mahogany colored foliage of Plumbago

Happy Flower Friday. Tomorrow is Sam’s 12th bark day so we hope you will swing by. There will be special treats for His Knuckleheaded-ness so let’s get this pawty started. But first, let’s entertain our good friend, Friday wine. Cheers!

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

October Is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

While inadvertently fur-getting to acknowledge National Black Dog Day, I decided not to make a similar mistake again by not noting that October is Adopt a Shelter Dog. Sam and I did our part rescuing Elsa and always encourage others to save a shelter pet. Shelter dogs have so much to offer and so much love to give. Every year 3 to 4 million dogs are euthanized because the number of pets in shelters exceed the number of shelter adoptions. Shelter pets come in all sizes and breeds and there’s bound to be something for everyone. Many shelters even have a number of purebred dogs as well. Remember our Remember Me Thursday post last week where we mentioned Eliot and Puck? They were each rescued from a shelter a couple year’s apart as was McKenzie, my sweet, black standard poodle. All three of those rescues lived long, happy lives while providing the family amazing joy and happiness. All these pets want is a chance to smile and have the opportunity to share their lives with a loving upright.

So this month in particular, if you’re looking for a pet, remember #AdoptDon’tShop. Put a smile on a rescue and they’ll leave indelible paw prints on your heart and in Elsa’s case, probably chew up a couple pair of glasses, socks and other weird things-but gosh I love this girl so much. She brings such joy every day.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Remember Me Thursday Tribute

Today we remember all the pets waiting at shelters everywhere and pray they find their loving fur-ever homes. We’ve done our part trying to rescue these precious babies with our own little Ninja. But before her, both the sheepdogs came to us from Denver’s Dumb Friends League at different times. Eliot was found roaming on the streets of a very rough neighborhood known more Rottweilers or Pit Bulls. He was picked up and transferred to DDFL. We discovered quickly that he was a fence jumper but resolved the issue by providing him a safe and escape proof home where he never roamed the streets again. Eliot lived with me over 12 years and provided me with love and laughter like I’ve never known. Who knew dogs could be such pawsome comedians?

Continued and frequent visits to Dumb Friends, two years following Eliot’s rescue, another Old English Sheepdog who had been taken from her abusive family through another shelter in the metro area. Puck was horribly thin and such a matted mess, her fur had to be shaved and came off like a single animal pelt. She was so pitiful to look at initially but turned out to be such a character of a dog who loved life, and relished torturing her ‘brother.’ Now there were two clowns who joined our merry little circus. Puck also lived a long life with me until she too joined her brother Eliot at the Rainbow Bridge, no doubt returning to complicating his life at the Bridge just like she did on earth.

These two joyful dogs brought so much love and happiness to my heart and Puck was Sam’s BFF. He still does double takes more than 5 years after her passing. He totally adored her. Both sheepdogs will always occupy a special place in my heart and particularly today, I pause to remember them along with all dogs waiting to be rescued with the passionate hope they may find loving fur-ever homes soon.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Fabulous Friday ~ September 22, 2017

Ahoy, mateys! You probably knew “International Talk Like a Pirate Day” was earlier this week but did you know my knuckleheaded mum neglected to post about it. Arrrgh! Sam here. She says it’s because she had already scheduled the Gotcha Day recipes and the ‘minor fact’ that we’ve been working this week at  hospital, hospice and West Pines and  she was totally up to her eyeballs in alligators getting our uniforms ready, making me walk the bath plank getting all spiffed up. Yeah, yeah, no excuses ye wench, just results, okay?

Aye, lucky for me lads and lassies…I did find my inner pirate for Speedy’s Annual Pirate Party and the cool gang from Blogville are celebrating all sorts of fun shenanigans today with an end of summer picnic , a ‘Trashure’ Hunt, and a barnyard dance and make sure you enjoy a margarita or two from Ruby’s. Sorry if I furgot any other activities-it’s been one of those weeks.

I’m kinda tuckered out from my work this week and since I’ve got more than four left feet, I’m watching from the comfort of my sofa bed whilst rejuvenating from some busy hospital visits but encourage effuryone to check out the festivities. The guys from Blogville are all so clever and always have such a great time. No doubt there are sure to be loads of scallywags and landlubbers enjoying themselves and a great time will be had by all. Shiver me timbers…those guys know how to host a pawty! Hope the week was kind to you. Now go enjoy the first weekend of Autumn, ok? Happy autumnal equinox.

Lie, love bark! ❤︎

Pawty Recipes

First, let me bark out loud thanks for all the kind Gotcha Day greetings to my sister. You made her day very special and mom and I appreciate Blogville’s kindness. Hey, it’s Sam here. Mom promised to share her treat recipes with everyone and we can’t believe how many of you want to try them out.

The good news is they are super easy to make. A while back mom posted the “Unleash the Quiche” recipe from Rachel Ray. You can read about it here. Mom modifies the recipe since she’s a vegetarian and never has meat in the house, other than dog food. I know…we’re so deprived.

Vegetable Quiche Muffins

Whisk together 4 eggs with a splash of milk (we don’t do a lot of milk either so you can either just do a splash or 1/4 cup like Rachel’s recipe calls for. Mom then added a couple of tablespoons each of (a) chopped carrot bits (b) chopped frozen green beans and (c) cheese. Mix together and pour into greased muffin tins or paper baking cups. We made 6 muffins. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  That’s it. Didn’t I say it was easy? It took mom longer to clean up then it did to throw these guys together.  And the good news is you can substitute any dog appropriate veggie for the carrots or green beans or even add some meat. {Drool}

Coconut Oil Dog Treats

These were even easier to whip up with only 3 ingredients. Take 1 cup of peanut butter (make sure it doesn’t contain Xylitol-that stuff is deadly for us fur-kids) and 1 cup of pure, unprocessed coconut oil. The recipe mom used also called for 1 tsp. of cinnamon but mom used to make dog treats for sale and some dogs aren’t all that keen on a heavy taste of cinnamon. She only added around 1/4 tsp. Melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Add the peanut butter and cinnamon and stir until mixture is nice and smooth. It should be somewhat thick but pourable. Pour mixture into silicone ice trays and freeze until solid. We are keeping them in an air-tight container in the freezer. If you’re stingy like my mom, just give one treat with meals. The brown part is the cinnamon which tends to settle at the bottom of the mold.

Mom snagged those adorable silicon paw print and small bone molds from Amazon but you can use plain silicon ice-cube trays as well.  Aren’t they as cute as a certain poodle you know? Let us know if you make these and what you and your pup thought. They really couldn’t be easier to make and the rewards for your pups of these healthy treats / meal-toppers are what it’s all about, right? These guys earn my 4-paw seal of approval so now all that left to do is eat.🐾🐾

Live, love, bark! ❤︎